Gov. Jared Polis announced new orders Friday afternoon limiting gatherings to 10 people from no more than two households in all counties at all three “Safer at Home” levels. The announcement comes after weeks of increased cases of COVID-19 across the state.
Data has shown social gatherings have become a common exposure point. Earlier this week, state epidemeologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy warned Coloradans that the state is heading in the wrong direction.
"We continue to see a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Colorado. At this point, our hospital admission rate is the same as it was in May and is steadily increasing," Herlihy said.
Polis pointed to an increase in hospitalizations, cases and transmission.
"We just have this short window of time to get this back under control before the holday season," he said. "And we need to do it."
In a statement, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan warned the state needs to act with an "abundance of caution."
“Right now, the virus is spreading when people from multiple households attend gatherings. We need to keep gatherings smaller and with people from fewer households — we are asking everyone to ‘shrink their bubble’ to reduce the spread,” she said. “Please take every effort to reduce contact with members of other households. If you can work remotely, please do so to reduce contact with other individuals. Taking action now can prevent your loved ones from getting sick, and help us save lives and avoid stricter public health orders in the future.”
This limit to gatherings also comes the same week state officials announced the “Step Up Colorado” campaign meant to remind people to keep up pandemic practices, including keeping six feet from others.